Friday, November 4, 2011

So Much For Shovel-Ready Projects

One thing might be worse than the Obama administration's stimulus funds used for worthless projects and near-bankrupt schemes. That would be stimulus funds taken out of the economy then left sitting there unused. Among the worst offenders are the so-called "green initiatives." By October of this year, about 45% of the $35.2 billion set aside under Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act had actually been used.

The prissy Barack Obama has probably never actually seen an instrument as crude as a shovel, so it's likely he had no idea what he was selling when he talked about all that money that was going to go to shovel-ready projects. He just loves the color green. Greenbacks taken from the taxpayers to produce green energy that won't happen for two or three decades. The only shoveling he has ever done is strictly metaphorical. It has something to do with male cattle manure.

You don't have to take my word for it. Department of Labor General Inspector Elliott Lewis and Department of Energy General Inspector Gregory Friedman provided the facts to a House panel investigating green job creation. Lewis testified that his agency received $500 million in stimulus funds for its Employment and Training Administration for competitive grants for research, labor exchange and job training projects to prepare workers for careers in the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries (Green Jobs).

The problem is that there are no jobs ready for the trainees. In addition, much of the training would have been for jobs that don't even yet exist. So training for jobs which don't exist in industries which have not yet been developed has been given to 52,762 enrollees (42% of the projected 124,893 jobs). 40% of the funds set aside for assessment, case management and job placement have been used. 10% of those trained have actually found jobs, and of those, only a small percentage remained employed after six months. And that doesn't even count the out-of-work Solyndra employees.

Over at the Department of Energy, the situation is very similar. In its case, about 45% of its stimulus funds have not been spent. Friedman suggests that in its situation, the state and local governments have been unable to create or even find jobs for potential recipients, and adds that the infrastructure and personnel were not in place to handle the federal pie-in-the-sky proposals. He put it very simply: "There are few shovel-ready jobs. The federal funds allocated are vast, but state and local resources are few, so he compared it to "putting a lawn hose on a fire hydrant."

Friedman says that the majority of grants and loan guarantees were set aside for green technology programs or research, including energy efficiency and renewable energy and "environmental management." He also called them "high risk areas." Like the train to nowhere, maybe? Of the funds spent, they weren't spent well. Friedman estimates that of the nearly $5 billion set aside for weatherization programs, much of it was wasted. "The weatherization work was often of poor quality. In a recent audit performed at the state level, 9 out of 17 weatherized homes we visited failed inspections because of substandard workmanship."

Whatever it is that Obama is shoveling, he's shoveling it against the tide.

12 comments:

Tennessee Jed said...

as you so aptly demonstrate, we know what he is shoveling. Actually, as Rush points out, a lot of this money is actually there to be tapped as a slush fund for deserving politicians to purchase votes.

As an aside, I really, really like your descrition of b.o. as "prissy." It seems like the Greek columns of Denver are just a distant memory doesn't it.

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

I think it will take decades to find out all that this administration has done and the unintended consequences. Like the Carter Administration, no one, especially Carter, foresaw that IRAN might produce nuclear weapons.

LawHawkRFD said...

Tennessee: That is one of the many things that are likely as reasons for so much money not being released. As I indicated, I'm not sure which is worse--the money he did release, or the money he's holding onto.

"Prissy" just seems to fit. I've never seen a shot of him at a dinner, but I'm guessing he's a pinky-finger-up drinker.

AndrewPrice said...

Training people for jobs that don't exist and spending money that can't be spent. That should be Obama's motto! LOL!

LawHawkRFD said...

Joel: I agree. Not only is he as impotent as Carter was as president, but he actually seems to like our enemies. And Obama has simply mis-read everything that has happened in the Middle East, picked the wrong "winners and losers," and emboldened those who would do us harm.

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: Should we suggest it to his campaign people? LOL

BevfromNYC said...

I still think that we should file a grant for some of that dough. I am sure we could come up with a viable research project to develop a prospectus to develop job opportunities for hundreds of thousands of workers in fields that do not yet exist, but might in the future sometime. I have every faith that if we applied for a grant, we could get billions!

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: I already sketched out my plans for a perpetual motion machine which uses no fossil fuels, causes the land to bloom, powers your car, saves the Delta smelt, keeps the polar bears from drowning, and washes your windows. It has zero emissions. A bonus feature is that for just a few extra dollars, it will also wash and groom your dog. Since every home will want one, I expect to be able to employ at least 2 or 3 million people. Could you put together a business plan for it, and I'll cut you in for 20%? 30% if you can put the grant application together. I feel very stimulated about the product. Secret ingredient: It's shovel-ready.

T-Rav said...

Um, guys, didn't you hear that without these shovel-ready programs unemployment would be 15%? Nancy Pelosi just said so, so it must be true. Boy, do you look foolish now.

BevfromNYC said...

Of course Nancy knows! I think she has counted every "saved job" and will be expecting a thank-you notes from each of us whose job was "saved". We are the 6% who COULD of lost our jobs, but didn't because of the quick thinking of Obama. And wouldn't you know it? I just used my last thank you note yesterday...

LawHawkRFD said...

T-Rav: If Nancy says it, I must believe it. I take back everything I've said so far. LOL

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: And it gets even better. She and Obama saved my retirement (of course they helped create it too).

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